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Morrow Mountain hosts dedication ceremony

A dedication and ribbon cutting was conducted Tuesday morning at the picnic shelter on top of Morrow Mountain State Park for the 25 acres of land the park recently received.

Three Rivers Land Trust partnered with the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation to add the land to the park.

The acquisition was made possible through funding from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

The property boasts hardwood forests and Mountain Creek, which is a stream home to a variety of species of rare and endangered mussels.

The site is part of Stony Hill Church Hardwoods, which is identified as a natural heritage area by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program due to its mature hardwood forests and rocky outcroppings.

“It’s a very exciting time,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Davidson. “Mountain Creek is one of the most special features in the park, and this acquisition will allow us to protect these natural resources, provide education to our visitors about their importance, and offer opportunities to enjoy this beautiful area with low-impact recreation.”

The property “is the prettiest stretch of creek we have in the park,” Davidson added.

Gary Deeck, owner of Deeck Mechanical, Inc., and his wife Nancy donated the land.

“The land is where it needs to be,” Deeck said, describing it as “deathly beautiful.”“It needs to be part of the park,” he added.

This acquisition was made possible through funding from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

“This is my home park growing up and this is my home park today,” said Travis Morehead, executive director of Three Rivers Land Trust.

Morehead and Davidson both said including the Deeck property, the Land Trust and its partners at the State Parks have added roughly 75 acres to Morrow Mountain since August 2016.

Davidson said the park received 62 acres of Duke property in May. It will receive roughly 1,080 acres from Alcoa sometime this year.

Established in 1935, Morrow Mountain is North Carolina’s third oldest state park, behind only Mount Mitchell and Fort Macon, Davidson said.

Besides Davidson and Morehead, Will Summer, deputy director of N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund spoke, as did the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation director Dwayne Patterson.

County Commissioners Tommy Jordan, Lane Furr and Bill Lawhon were in attendance, as was County Manager Andy Lucas.

“Morrow Mountain is a significant tourism revenue driver for Stanly County,” Lucas said. “As such, any enhancements to the Park in terms of land, trails, camping, restroom facilities, etc. are welcome additions.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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